Bloomingdale's Flagship Ups Ante on Beauty Retail

Bloomingdale's announced the makeover of its flagship 59th Street store (New York City). The store's main floor, featuring a collection of cosmetics vendors, has been fully renovated and upgraded with new technology. In addition to its current roster of cosmetics vendors, six new brands will launch for the first time at 59th Street. The transformation of the 25,400-square-foot cosmetics department is the culmination of a complete store renovation that began in 2004.

"The overall goal of 'The Biggest Makeover in NYC' was to create a floor that has the largest and most dynamic world of beauty in the city," said Michael Gould, chairman and CEO of Bloomingdale's. "What we will achieve will be the creation of a highly interactive world of beauty, the introduction of six top brands, and a beautiful and cohesive floor design."

"In addition to upgrading each vendor shop or counter, we wanted to recreate the floor in its entirety," said Jack Hruska, executive vice president of creative services for Bloomingdale's. "We've taken the cosmetics department from one large, open room to three distinct rooms. This allows us to present our brands in a much more powerful and cohesive way."

The department's three rooms allow for more impactful presentations from each cosmetics resource by raising their visual area in height from 5 foot, 6 inches to 10 feet, 3 inches. A wide, black glass trim, known as the eyebrow, extends above each vendor shop to the 13-foot, 6-inch ceiling and, along with the brand's iconic black and white floors, ties the three rooms together and create a unified department. Yet, according to Bloomingdale's, each room has its own personality—one accented in white glass, one in black glass, and one in a black and silver leaf motif. Special diffusion lighting eliminates shadows on the floor, and creates a significant drop in electrical consumption, thereby allowing 59th Street to become a more energy efficient store.

By moving a portion of menswear from the main floor to the lower level, the beauty department was able to pick up an additional 4,400 square feet of space to accommodate new brands, as well as wider aisles. The design provides for larger aisles in both directions—from Lexington Avenue to Third Avenue, and from 59th Street to 60th Street—a move that increases flow and circulation on the floor. Hruska and his store design team worked with Callison RYA Studio on the design of the floor and Seaboard Construction served as the General Contractor.

New brands to Bloomingdale's 59th Street include Giorgio Armani; Bare Escentuals; Bumble and Bumble; Jo Malone; Sisley; and Shu Uemura. According to the retailer, these new vendors add depth and breadth to the floor—in product array, services and even design. Bumble and Bumble has created its first outpost in a department store with the Bb.StylingBar and shop—a "no wash, no appointment" dry styling counter. A Tokyo Lash Bar at Shu Uemura's oval-shaped shop adds a new customization option for Bloomingdale's guests.

These new brands join existing resources, including: Benefit; Bobbi Brown; Borghese; Chanel; Clarins; Clinique; Dior; Estée Lauder; Kiehl's; La Mer; La Prairie; Lancôme; Laura Mercier; M.A.C.; Prescriptives; Shiseido; SK-II; Space NK; Trish McEvoy; and Yves Saint Laurent.

A full promotional campaign accompanies the new beauty floor, including more than 500 special events on the main floor throughout the course of two months, beginning Oct. 15, 2009. Also beginning that day, a multi-channel advertising and marketing campaign will support the effort.

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